Juneau Police Department Chief Ed Mercer speaks at a special meeting of the Uptown Neighborhood Association on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire File)

Juneau Police Department Chief Ed Mercer speaks at a special meeting of the Uptown Neighborhood Association on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire File)

Juneau police union set to host town hall meeting on crime

Officers hoping to address frustrations among Juneauites

As frustrations about crime and public safety rise in Juneau, members of the police department are looking to open up the lines of communication.

The Juneau Police Department Public Safety Employees Association (PSEA) union is hosting a town hall meeting from 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Centennial Hall, asking people to connect officers with members of the public. Anyone is welcome.

“We are committed to fostering a positive relationship with residents of Juneau, we believe this will go a long way in helping to understand the community’s concerns,” members of the PSEA wrote in an announcement sent to the Empire.

The PSEA announcement specifically referred to rising frustration that officers have heard from Juneau residents.

Representatives from JPD and the Alaska State Troopers will make short presentations to start the event, trying to give people an inside look at their operations and what issues are important to the officers. They’re aiming to keep those presentations fairly brief and are hoping to start taking questions from attendees at 6:30 p.m.

[Crime continues to rise in state, Juneau]

Juneau’s crime rate has risen in recent years, and political candidates have said that when they talk to Juneau residents, public safety is often at the forefront of their minds. In 2017, according to the Department of Public Safety’s Uniform Crime report, there was one crime for every 11.47 people in Juneau. In 2010, it was one crime for every 11.66 people. In 2007, it was one per 14.68 people. In 1987, it was one for every 18.6 people. In 1977, it was one per 18.94.

• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or amccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.

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